Our new explorer, Aleshka, met with a German couple who decided to change their life. Ellen and Jonas bought a car and made all the necessary changes to make it as comfortable as possible to travel all around the world and start a new adventure. They have been on the road for more than 450 days.
Who came up with the idea of travelling around the world in the first place?
In 2011, Ellen and I spent a while living in Cairo, Egypt where I had the opportunity to study Computer Science for one semester. During this semester, I haven’t spent so much at the university, we preferred to get to know more about a different culture and tried to get around as much as possible. One day, we rented a car and started a little road trip from Cairo to the Sinai desert. It was a beautiful trip for both of us and while we were spending one night in a desert camp called “Camp Rocksea” in Nuweiba, we talked about how great it would be to cross the world in a car. This is how the idea was born and when we went back to Germany we started to figure everything out to realize this idea. We bought a car, reconstructed it for more than a year and rebuilt the interior in order to travel all around the world in it.
How did you get the money for your trip?
Well, we worked for quite a while. As I mentioned, when the idea was born I was still at the University and the reconstruction of the car took place while I was studying. After I graduated, I found a well-paid job, which helped us have a decent life without spending too much for our flat. We spent most of our money getting all the essentials we might need for our trip, such as tools to reconstruct the car, and we quit buying superficial things nobody needs on the road. Long story short, we had to work extensively for two years to save the initial budget for our travel.
What do you know about travelling?
We don’t know that much, we are not adventurers deep down but we gradually learned what it means to live abroad and we always try to learn and understand the countries and cultures we are visiting. We wouldn’t say that we are travelling experts but we know how to organize ourselves and how to get used to each countries’ customs.
Which country did you like the most? Why?
We fell in love with Mongolia, even if we didn’t spend much time there, we really loved its landscapes and quietness and it felt like home. Experiences you live while travelling through a country are not objective since it mostly depends on what your personal experiences were. At the end of the day, each country has good and bad sides. Our answer regarding Mongolia is valid considering the aforementioned facts, we had a very good time and we will definitely go back there.
What can you say about Thailand? Especially about Krabi?
Unfortunately we won’t be able to stay in Krabi as long as we want due to visa expiration. It is our last stop in Thailand and we are having a really good time. We are staying close to the beach near a football field where some taxi drivers play after the end of their shift; we enjoy watching them and binding with them. We met another couple from Switzerland, they have been travelling in a truck since seven years. We really love the peaceful atmosphere here, the beaches, the islands, the stunning cliffs and we even have the chance to enjoy climbing in Railay.
We had a lot of good experiences in Thailand where we spent eight months. We met friendly people and discovered an amazing culture.
What do you recommend for people who want to start travelling around the world?
As I mentioned earlier, we developed our way of doing things which is probably not valid or good for others. Some people are travelling very slowly (as we do right now), others like to do it faster. Some are looking for a lot of attractions, others don’t. Some people prefer cities over the rural areas, others vice and versa. Some people like to travel by bike, others by public transport or their own car. The only advice we could give is, just make the first step and you will probably find by yourself the way that suits you the best.
What are the pros and cons when you travel in a caravan?
In a car you can go wherever you want, which is really great in countries such as Mongolia or Russia where public transports only take you from one city to another. You are independent of guided tours and expensive transportation. We can cook and sleep in the car, we have some water to take a shower, wash the dishes and we are able to transport quite a lot of food and personal stuff. So on the one hand, for us it means independence and on the other hand, it limits us when we consider that going to Australia means organizing the shipping which is around 3000 USD. However, we cannot enter countries like Vietnam, China or Myanmar without getting a guide and therefore without being controlled by someone around the clock. So it has advantages and inconveniences, we like it, others probably won’t.
Did you make any specific encounters during your trip?
Yes, we made a lot of special encounters, with locals and foreigners. We also discovered some very special places and that is probably what encourages us to keep on travelling.